AMR May Cause 10m Deaths By 2050 – WHO

The World Health Organization (WHO) says if the high global burden of Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR) is not controlled, it might result in up to 10 million deaths by the year 2050.

The international agency pointed out that developing a new antibiotic might take up to 10–15 years and cost more than $1 billion, even though it called for the prudent use of currently available antibiotics.

It, therefore, stressed that if people fail to overhaul the usage of antibiotics, the new drugs would suffer the same fate and become ineffective.

Dr Laxmikant Chavan, Technical Officer of AMR at WHO Nigeria Office, who spoke at the weekend during the four-day conference of the Association of Nigeria Health Journalists (ANHEJ), observed that AMR remains a major threat to human health globally, adding that roughly five million deaths were associated with bacterial resistance.

He said AMR was undermining the gains of Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and hindering the attainment of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

“The cost of AMR to national economies and development is significant. Under a worst-case scenario, AMR could cause a reduction in Gross Domestic Product (GDP) equal to that of the 2008 financial crisis,” he pointed out.

Chavan said that between 2000 and 2010, the world’s usage of antibiotics rose by 30%, from 50 billion standard units to 70 billion standard units, despite his criticism of the growing use of antimicrobial medications.

In his virtual presentation, the Technical Officer of Vaccine Preventable Diseases Cluster (VPD), WHO, Dr Olayiwola Olanike, harped on the importance of sustainable health practices in Nigeria.

He canvassed a comprehensive approach to health determinants, ranging from environmental sustainability to community engagement.

In order to attain universal health care, Olanike emphasized the significance of multi-sectoral policies, disaster preparation, and inclusive programs.

He emphasized the link between health and environment and called for a move toward low-carbon solutions.

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